Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Bloody Tail: Reloaded

As you know from my last post, our dog recently had a bad incident occur in which he suffered a pretty severe injury to his tail. Unfortunately, things did not go well for him as a result of his visit to the emergency vet. Things took a decided downturn on Halloween - kind of appropriate considering the bloodbath he created in our house. Personally, I think he was mad because he had to stay in the house instead of being able to check out all of the trick-or-treaters that came by our house. In an effort to get back at us, he decided an appropriate response would be to slink off somewhere and work the staples out of his cut, exposing the wound anew.

So it was off to our regular vet for my wife with the dog in tow. Now, our vet was none too happy with the work done by the emergency vet. Worse, the cut had not really done any healing and was even getting worse with some flesh dying. So, it was time for some stitches to try to tend to it a little better. The result of that was a cone on the head for poor Zeus as seen in the pictures below.

A Bloody Tail - Zeus looking sad thumbnailA Bloody Tail - the tail in question thumbnail
A Bloody Tail - Zeus takes a walk thumbnail
Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Living with a dog as large as Zeus with a cone on his head truly gives meaning to the saying, "bull in a china cabinet." The first night he couldn't figure out how to get up the staircase in our house or how to jump up on the bed. Since then, he has learned how to hold his head so the cone isn't constantly getting caught. But that is only those items. The end table in our den is still off-limits to drinks as he is liable to come along and just push everything off the table (and has nearly knocked the table down a couple times). And there is a constant banging noise when he walks around as he runs into chairs, walls, etc.

Do you think that is the end of the story? Oh no. As you might note from the photos, he had a bandage on his tail. Over the weekend following Halloween, he got a new bandage, but as we quickly discovered, keeping a bandage on the tip of the tail of a dog is no easy task. In fact, it proved to be basically impossible. And combined with his tail-wagging which resulted in numerous smacking of the tail against inanimate objects (walls, doors, furniture, etc.). This only served to increase the pain that he was in and was preventing any healing from occurring.

Thus, we reached the point where the best option was to amputate his tail. Besides my concern for him in losing his tail, I was somewhat upset at losing a "part" of Zeus that made him "him". The wagging of his tail was always a source of amusement and pleasure. But it looked like that was the best solution to help him recover and reduce/eliminate the pain he was in.

So he is now the proud owner of a five-inch long tail. And I would have to say the vet was right - his recovery started to accelerate almost immediately and we could tell he was doing much better right away. So it is a couple weeks later. He still has the cone on his head, but goes back to the vet tomorrow. He was supposed to be getting his stitches out, but it looks like he managed to get them out already (yes, in spite of the cone on his head). In some ways it is sad not seeing that long tail whooshing around. But it is also nice to see him returning to his old self and he does not seem to realize his tail is gone.

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